Airlie Gardens Gets Squirrelly!

Go nuts with these larger-than-life sculptures

BY Jeanne Mullins

Botanist and Friends by Courtney Kapczynski. Photo by Allison Potter.
Botanist and Friends by Courtney Kapczynski. Photo by Allison Potter.

Airlie Gardens’ annual art exhibit, SQUIRRELS!, features 10 larger-than-life fiberglass squirrel sculptures dispersed throughout the expansive property. The exhibit opened in late August and continues through the end of November.

“They’re a perfect fit for us,” says Janine Powell, director of marketing. “Squirrels are relevant to gardens, and through art we can make them whimsical and fun.”

Ten local artists, or teams of artists, were selected to participate in the eighth annual exhibit. Each received a plain, 4-foot-high form and was given the freedom to create. The result: unique and fun designs.

“Psychedelic Psquirrel, my contribution, draws on the Summer of Love from the ‘60s, and offers a bright ray of positivity to lighten our day and our hearts,” says Karen Snave, one of the artists.

Her squirrel cavorts in the garden along with those of artists Kristen McLoughlin, Tara Sall, Sally Martin, Brenda Bickta, Courtney Kapczynski, Evelyn Fischer, Jen Schellenberg, Sara Toothman, Laura Kalina and Brooks Koff.

If you’ve been cooped up with COVID-19, maybe now’s the time to step outside while still following safety guidelines. Stroll through the beautiful gardens and play hide-and-seek with the sculptures.

If you fall in love with one of the squirrels, they’ll be available for purchase during an online auction after the exhibit ends. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Airlie Gardens Foundation.

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